As if there wasn't enough news on Thursday with Luis Suarez's ban being ruled upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, another Barcelona forward was in the news.
FC Barcelona and Sevilla have agreed to the loan of Gerard Deulofeu for one season.
The 20-year-old was expected to see plenty of playing time this season. Gerard played in Barcelona's four friendly games. However, it's clear that manager Luis Enrique has either not been impressed with the forward or Lucho feels that it is best for Gerard to go to a team that will give him regular playing time to better prepare him for future glory at Barça.
For me, it doesn't make any sense to loan out Gerard Deulofeu...unless Barcelona are certain they will acquire Colombian international Juan Cuadrado soon. Why else would Barça send away one of their forwards if Cuadrado wasn't on the way, especially with Suarez not available until late October?
If Juan Cuadrado is on his way, one thing I will say is that Cuadrado is a step up on offense—given Juan (age 26) is older than Deulofeu, thus, more experienced. No offense to Deulo, but Juan Cuadrado is better on attack, can cross better, and as we saw in the World Cup with Colombia, Juan is terrific at assisting and setting up goal-scoring plays.
With Dani Alves looking as if he will be staying at Barça for one more season, it would be safe to say that Juan Cuadrado would not play RWB as many thought he would if he joined. With Deulofeu out on loan, Cuadrado would play at RW, up front with Lionel Messi and Neymar. Pedro can play either RW or LW.
Luis Enrique will have much to explain in his next press conference. There were great expectations of Gerard Deulofeu at Barcelona this season. He was welcomed back alongside Rafinha and seemed to be ready to get extended playing time at RW with Suarez being banned for the first eight Liga games.
I'm not here to say that I or any of us fans know more than Lucho, by any means. I trust him and he knows what this team needs. But now that Deulofeu has been loaned out, there are only four forwards on this 2014-15 squad and that is worrisome to all Culés. One of the four forwards is still recovering from a nasty back injury and another one of the four can't play until late October. And how does Pedro, a player who has been consistently inconsistent since the 2011-12 season, avoid being loaned out, let alone sold? Did Gerard and Lucho not see eye-to-eye, thus Deulo being sent out on loan? I hope not because that would be unprofessional from both the manager and the player, and it only delays the inevitable fact that they will eventually have to work together next season.
If Juan Cuadrado is not signed, and now that Gerard Deulofeu has been loaned out, what then? Adama Traoré and/or Munir El Haddadi would have to be called up and stay with the first squad to help the Barça attack. Both youngsters have had their moments playing with the first squad, but Deulofeu is obviously much more Liga/first-squad ready than both Adama and Munir. Does Lucho put Rafinha at RW, or at CF and move Messi to his old position of RW? Or is there a "surprise" deal in the works to bring in another player (ex: Marco Reus)?
Questions need to be answered.
I hope FC Barcelona has a deal with Juan Cuadrado and will join the club soon. If not, loaning out Gerard Deulofeu makes absolutely no sense.
*UPDATE*: FYI: On Thursday, Juan Cuadrado was not called up for Fiorentina's friendly match against Real Madrid.
Xoel, The Voice of Els Culés and host of "This Week in Barça" every Monday on SB Nation.